An Israeli court has just convicted five of the Israeli seruvniks - men and women who've refused to serve in the occupied territories. The five - Hagai Matar, Shimri Zameret, Adam Maor, Noam Bahat and Matan Kaminer - had claimed conscientious objector status on the grounds that they oppose serving in "an army of occupation." But the court ruled that their freedom of conscience had to be balanced against equally important values, such as national security, which it said could be gravely impaired if the conscripts were exempted from service. Furthermore, the court said, the five recent high school graduates did not refuse to serve as individuals, but rather as a group, with the explicit goal of bringing about a change in Israeli policy in the territories. As such, the court ruled, their action strayed from the norms of classic conscientious objection into the realm of civil disobedience. In support of this finding, the court cited a letter the conscripts had signed in high school, in which they declared they would not serve in the IDF "as long as it acts as an army of occupation." More power to them - and to the nearly 600 more who've recognized that the occupation is a threat to Israeli security and Jewish values, and risked their futures to avoid perpetuating it.


Post a Comment

<< Home